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In this part of the series we’ll focus on creating the distribution model and assigning message types related to Variant Configuration. By now, you should have your User, Logical Systems, and RFC connections configured from Part 1 of this blog series, via preliminary steps 1 through 3. As with part 1, be mindful of the sender vs receiver indicators within each step.  This blog post continues with Step 4:

 

Step 4: Create Distribution Model

This is the most important step in the ALE configuration process. Here you can configure your path from one system to another and the system can automatically populate the rest of configuration for you.

a.) In the sender client, go to transaction BD64.

b.) Switch to Edit mode by pressing F9 or use the Distribution Model menu bar above.

c.) Click Create model view.

d.) Provide a technical name for the ALE path. (e.g. Z800SOL810)

e.) Describe the ALE path with a short text description. (e.g. “ALE for SOL800 to SOL810”)

f.) Highlight the Model View created and click the Add Message Type button for each object shown below in bold. Be sure to define the correct sender and receiver as this configuration controls the flow of data to and from each logical system 

g.) Highlight the Model View created and click the Add BAPI button for the following object. Note that VCUI_SAVEM is handled differently than the message types above. This BAPI object is necessary for sending User Interfaces via CUID.

VCUI_SAVEM

  • Object: VariantConfigUI 
  • Method: Savem

 

Your configuration should look something like this:

h.) Highlight the Model View created and click Environment -> Generate Partner Profiles. (These steps h through o are optional if you wish to configure partner profiles manually and have already assigned your own receiver port to the appropriate RFC connection. This option allows you to perform many of the remaining steps programatically).

i.) Enter the receiver logical system in the Partner System selection field.

j.) Enter in your ALE User account to be used for post-processing in the target SAP client.

k.) Select Transfer IDOC Immediately and Trigger Immediately. If sending to a production or gold client, you may want to select the Collect IDOCs option to allow for manual processing. This lowers the risk of sending objects by mistake!

l.) Click Execute and review the report output. It will automatically generate and assign a receiver port and additional outbound parameters (such as SYNCH) for the target system.

m.) Return to main screen in BD64 and save.

n.) Highlight the Model View and under Edit -> Model View you can click Distribute to send this model definition to other logical systems.

 

o.) Select the Logical System(s) that you’d like to send this to (e.g. the receiver system) and click the green checkmark.

p.) Login to the receiver client and go to transaction BD64.

q.) Repeat steps h through m and reference the sender logical system when generating the partner profiles.

 

Step 5: Check Receiver Ports

Note: step 4 generated ports automatically via BD64. This is an optional step!

ALE Message Types will be linked to Receiver Ports in Configuration. This is where you tie these ports to one of the RFC connections that we defined previously. You can skip this step if you’ve automatically generated the ports and partner profiles via BD64 already. This option is for when you want to set up your own receiver port and later configure partner profiles manually.

a.) In the sender client, to go transaction WE21.

b.) Under Ports -> Transactional RFC, highlight the Transactional RFC node and press F7 to Create a new Port. 

c.) Define your ‘own’ port name OR have SAP generate one for you. I prefer to name the port the same as my RFC and Logical System name (e.g. “SOLCLNT810”) to keep it simple.

d.) Give it a description and assign the RFC destination for the receiving system.

 

Step 6: Check Partner Profiles

Note: step 4 generated profiles automatically via BD64. This is an optional step!              

Since we’re configuring from scratch, I’ll include this segment that describes the process of setting up a partner profile manually in SAP.

a.) Login to the sender client and to go transaction WE20.

b.) Under Partner Profiles -> Partner Type LS select the partner profile for the receiver system (or create new) and fill in the details like the image below.

 

c.) If you’ve automatically generated your profiles and ports, you can double click on an outbound message type to verify the receiver port is assigned correctly.

d.) Perform the same check in the receiver system and be sure inbound message types exist in the partner profile for the sender system (or create new).

 

Step 7: Setting up Outbound Parameters

Note: step 4 generated parameters automatically via BD64. This is an optional step!     

In the event that you have to manually configure parameters for ALE, I’ve outlined the necessary steps. Even if you’ve automatically generated these values, I encourage users to confirm the settings in each message type and adjust where appropriate.

a.) In the sender system, still in WE20 for your selected receiver partner profile, click the Create Outbound Parameter button to add message types to the list. (Outbound Parameters are Message Types being sent to the selected partner profile.)

b.) Enter your Receiver Port, Message Type, and Basic Type based on the list below.

c.) If you set your Output Mode to “Transfer IDOC Immediately”, your Pack Size will be set to 1. If you set Output Mode to “Collect IDOCs”, you can specify a different pack size. This value is simply the number of IDOCs it tries to process with a single RFC call (default of 100 is fine).

If you’re sending to a production environment or a gold client, it is recommended to set the output mode to “Collect IDOCs”. This keeps the IDOCs in the source system until you process them (giving you a safety net, in case you hit a button by mistake).

d.) In the receiver system, go to WE20 and select the sender partner profile, click the Create Inbound Parameter button to add message types to the list. (Inbound Parameters are Message Types being received from the selected partner profile).

e.) In the sender system you won’t have inbound parameters and in the receiver system you won’t have outbound parameters unless the ALE path between the systems is bi-directional.

f.) Here is a list of Message Types to define for Variant Configuration:

 

That concludes part 2 of ALE Configuration for SAP LO-VC. As you can see, many of the steps are automated in this portion of the configuration. However, it’s helpful to know how to add new message types or correct an existing partner profile configuration with steps 6 and 7 above. In the next blog entry, I’ll talk about some general use tips with ALE such as manually deleting IDOCs, understanding errors, reading CAPI logs, and things to avoid.

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